07 Jan 2022 | 05:50 | Tennis
“They took all his things, including his wallet, they left him with only his phone and without changing his clothes, with nowhere to wash his face.”
The retention of Novak Djokovic at the Park Hotel, a state quarantine facility in Melbourne, has sparked a furious wave of protests in Serbia. At a press conference held in Belgrade, Srdjan Djokovic described his son as “Spartacus of the new world” and assured that he is a “prisoner” of the Australian authorities, who do not allow him to enter the country for not being vaccinated against Covid. Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic believes that the 20- majors champion is the victim of “political persecution” by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison .
The Morrison government prevented Djokovic from entering early on Thursday, not having the visa in order and “not complying” with the medical exemption for which he had been authorized the day before to play the first Grand Slam of the season. This situation has exacerbated the spirits in Serbia, where the patriarch of the Djokovic family starred in an inflammatory appearance before the media.
“Novak and his team submitted the same documents as 25 other tennis players (who received exemptions) and they had no problem, just Novak,” Srdjan stressed. “They wanted to humiliate him. They could have said ‘don’t come Novak’, and that would have been fine. But no, they wanted to humiliate him and they still keep him in prison,” he added. In this sense, he reiterated that his son “is not detained, but in prison.” “They took all his things, including his wallet, they left him only with his phone and without changing his clothes, with nowhere to wash his face,” he said.
The notorious reluctance over vaccines forced Djokovic to apply for a medical exemption in order to enter Australian territory. However, his subsequent arrest compromises his future in the extreme at the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, where he aspired to raise his twenty-first ‘major’, with which he would unseat Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer .
“Novak did not violate any law, just like seven billion people did not violate any law. They want to submit us and that we are all on our knees,” developed Srdjan, accompanied on the spot by his wife Diana and by Djordje , the nine-time younger brother. winner at Melbourne Park. The family, like the tennis player himself, is awaiting the outcome of an appeal against the decision of the Australian Border Force (ABF) to cancel his entry visa and deport him.
Likewise, Srdjan described the great dominator of the circuit as “an idol, the light at the bottom of a tunnel that will not extinguish the” western political oligarchy that “believes that the world is theirs.” After comparing his son to “Jesus Christ, whom they crucified,” he defended that some are now trying to “crucify, humiliate and bring Nole to his knees.”
To the incendiary dialectic of the family was added that of the Serbian authorities, led by President Vucic. “What is not fair game is this political hunt, where the Prime Minister of Australia also participates, pretending that the rules are valid for everyone,” said the leader of the SNS, the conservative populist party that has held power in Serbia since 2012.
“When you can’t beat someone, you dedicate yourself to this kind of thing,” Vucic endorsed, after describing the Park Hotel where Djokovic was held as “infamous”. Finally, the Serbian president reported contacts with the Australian ambassador in Belgrade and the intention of his prime minister, Ana Brnabic , to meet urgently with a senior Australian official.
-Translate from: elmundo.es
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